Whether you like it or not, user experience rules!
In fact, your end users have the ultimate say on whether they are satisfied with the speed, availability and performance of your applications. So a traditional infrastructure-monitoring approach is no longer enough for IT. Moreover, the only way to ensure business success is to build an IT strategy centered on SLA Monitoring from an end-user perspective, so check out these tips:
1) Define your SLA monitoring plans cross-functionally. Building a killer SLA monitoring strategy requires cross-functional collaboration, proper planning and a dose of diplomacy to ensure alignement. For example, are you changing infrastructure providers or moving to the cloud? Are you rolling out some new applications in the future? Are you updating your Website or embedding new third-party components like Web tracking analytics or Social Media widgets? Get all stakeholders together (Development, QA, IT, business owners and marketing teams) to get buy-in and consensus on your SLA monitoring plans at a high level from the get-go.
2) Monitor your SLAs from a user perspective. Your applications fuel your business, so they must consistently perform well, and ultra-fast. Continuously monitor end-to-end transactions from a user perspective, proactively taking response time measurements to ensure user SLAs are met. Check out CitraTest APM! By automating the driving of ANY application — just like a real user would do — visually examining the desktop and responding to changes, driving the keyboard and mouse, waiting for the next step and measuring response time– CitraTest APM ensures that all critical aspects of your applications are available and working effectively, alerting you in real-time at the first sign of trouble – before your users complain.
3) Monitor critical transactions first. Take the time to map out critical end-to-end flows in your applications. For example: New application code, marketing registration forms, shopping carts, Salesforce record retrieval, key HR functions – they should all be monitored. Focus first on those transactions that drive revenue and fuel your business operations and start monitoring them on a 24x7x365 basis to ensure they are performing top-notch.
4) Oversee SLA response time historically and in real-time. Build comprehensive monitoring scenarios with custom grouping based on physical locations (Headquarters, NYC, remote offices) or monitoring functionality (Application A- SAP, Application B- Salesforce, Application C- Your Main Website, etc.). Everything should be measured in absolute values, percentages or statistical deviations. For example, SLAs for application load time, login time, a Hadoop transaction execution, how long it takes after a “button” is clicked or until the next window or item appears, and so on. That way, you can understand how each application performs per location, per step or per group, both historically and in real-time, identify underperforming components or problematic trends, and prove that SLAs are being met.
5) Look for drill-down capabilities to simplify triage and troubleshooting. CitraTest APM ‘sees’ exactly what the real user experience is, so every monitoring script is built with simple, easy-to-understand visual references, and are easy to create and maintain. When a monitoring script fails, CitraTest APM will take a screenshot to help you analyze the root cause. You can even click and analyze recent incident grids – up to 150 trace logs and screenshots — or visualize script fail logs in sequence to simplify troubleshooting tasks.
6) Don’t forget your mobile users! Smart devices are not only competing for PCs’ place in your users’ lives, or in the enterprise, – they are replacing the experience. In fact, smartphones and tablets now account for 60% of total Internet time (Source: comScore). And mobile user expectations are on par with, if not higher than, their desktop counterparts. Therefore, just like you monitor SLAs and response time for your desktop users, look for SLA monitoring for both mobile and desktop users. Check out CitraTest Mobile
7) Focus on application quality. Before you even define your SLA monitoring plans, think about testing your applications from a user perspective, and test real end-user experience in pre-production! With CitraTest, you can generate real mouse activity and keyboard strokes and then test, measure and validate the images on the screen — just like a real user — and easily reuse those scripts for ongoing SLA monitoring in production via CitraTest APM.
Good luck with your SLA monitoring!